The Pirbright Institute forms part of the UK Government’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). It carries out essential research into infectious diseases that pose a significant threat to agriculture and/or public health. This research helps identify disease control and eradication strategies, new diagnostic tests and treatments. It carries out surveillance activities on general animal health and disease movement in the UK and also provides National and International Reference Laboratories for ten exotic viral diseases of livestock.
With significant financial investment from the BBSRC, a major phased redevelopment of both of its research sites at Pirbright in Surrey and Compton in Berkshire is underway. The transformation will make it the most advanced institute in the world for fundamental and applied research on some of the world’s most devastating viruses of farmed animals. A state-ofthe- art, high containment (Level 4) laboratory complex at the Pirbright Main Campus in Surrey has just been completed as the first part of the redevelopment. Equipment for the laboratory was sourced by its Research Services Group, led by Miriam Windsor, in consultation with the scientific staff.
“Our new high containment lab enables 150 scientists and support staff to undertake research on highly contagious viruses including Foot-and- Mouth Disease, Swine Fever and highly pathogenic Avian Influenza viruses,” said Miriam. “Equipment security and reliability are our top priorities. Dealing with pathogenic biological material means we never compromise on safety.Whilst the decision making process was subject to tender, we chose Panasonic equipment on the basis of the unique capabilities of the Panasonic MDF-U700VX-PE TwinGuard -86ºC freezers and the reliability and longevity of our previous Panasonic equipment.”